Namah’s comments racially-driven, says O’Neill

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The National, Tuesday June 25th, 2013

 PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill yesterday accused Opposition Leader Belden Namah of demeaning his office with comments which he labelled as “racially-driven, personal attacks”.

“His vicious and uncalled for attack on me while trying to justify his newfound position on Indonesia and Papua is disappointing, but sadly, it is also not unexpected,” O’Neill said in a statement yesterday.

“Mr Namah’s disgraceful behaviour is one reason why the opposition numbers have dropped from around 20 to five or six since he became opposition leader last August.

“I am a proud Papua New Guinean. 

“I am proud of the contribution my late father made to Papua New Guinea before and after Independence. I am proud of my heritage, as are my children.

“I just find it absolutely disgraceful that someone who claims to be a ‘leader’ can resort to race-based abuse and name-calling without provocation or justification.

“Papua New Guinea’s position on the territorial integrity of Indonesia has been consistent under every government since Independence, including governments in which Mr Namah served as a minister, including 12 months as deputy prime minister in my government prior to the recent national elections.

“If the leader of the opposition wants to be taken seriously, he needs to start putting forward policies, and stop playing race and racial abuse politics for which there is no place in Papua New Guinea,” O’Neill said.

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